Mark Rothko is a legendary figure in the field of modern art. His imposing canvases abstractly filled with large swaths of color were so revered some were even enshrined in their own chapel. But a couple of artists have been paying tribute to the New York-based painter in a manner that might appeal more to foodies than art historians, recreating Rothko pieces out of rice in a project humorously dubbed “Mark Rice-Ko.”
“The Rice-Ko project began four years ago when our interest was piqued by the news reports of a famous Rothko painting being defaced in London’s Tate gallery,” artists Henry Hargreaves (whose food-related work we’ve showcased before) and Caitlin Levin wrote on their website. “It turned out to be one of Rothko’s famed Seagram murals, one of many he was commissioned to do in 1958 by the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York City.”
The artists drew inspiration from that ultimately failed commission: Rothko originally agreed to paint 30 works to be displayed in the restaurant, but later decided not to hand over the paintings, called the “Segram” series, and returned all the money after realizing the disgust he had at the idea that these works would only be seen by New York’s richest and most elite.